There seem to be a number of theories about the big win despite being outspent by 20 to 1:
- People who are intensely upset over aspects of amnesty/immigration reform and it being in the news just before the election
- People who are fed up with establishment GOP people that aren't being honest with them - the anti-slippery vote
- The rain plus being a non-presidential election didn't bring out many people... only those very passionate about their agenda
- That democrats, allowed to vote in these primaries, were choosing the candiate least able to win the general election
I don't buy that last item - it seems to be reaching a bit far and not fitting the facts. And I'm not familiar with any burning issue effecting Richmond voters regarding immigration that would account for this (I have lots of relatives in Richmond). The news people think that what they publish is driving events... even when it isn't.
So, just my gut feeling is that the most motivated to go out in the rain were a group of people who had grown to hate Cantor for becoming more and more establishment, feeding them talking points designed to mollify without ever really listening to what they wanted. They decided to put in someone new. And the rain kept the others away. It feels like the rain might have been as powerful a deciding factor as any other.
But, there are also a lot of born-again, evangelical voters in Virginia... maybe they focused on a difference between Cantor and the new guy that is religous and marched out into the rain. Hope that's not it. I'd rather entertain the hope that the new guy is a nice clean message that politicians need fight more for small government, fewer regulations, balanced budgets, less taxation and debt... and above all to be bolder and more honest in those efforts. In otherwords, that they elected a Tea Party candidate over an Establishment politican.